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National Agreements

In its role as an employers’ organisation, the BESA is responsible for ensuring the relevance to members’ needs of collective agreements with the sector’s recognised trade union.

These agreements are with the trade union Unite (in respect of hourly paid Operatives) and its white-collar section EESA (in respect of staff employees).

Operative National Agreement

Working rules, wages, terms and conditions for Operatives in the industry are contained in the National Agreement, operated jointly between the trade union, Unite (on behalf of Operatives) and BESA (on behalf of Employers). This National Agreement is the centrepiece of employee relations in the H&V contracting sector of the industry and is used mainly by companies engaged on industrial and commercial pipefitting and ductwork installation.

The key advantages of using the Agreement are: 

Level Playing Field

The Agreement provides a level playing field between competing contractors in relation to pay and terms and conditions of employment for Operatives, leaving contractors to compete on quality of service, technical excellence, efficiency and delivering client satisfaction

Progressive Employment Package

It offers employees attractive terms and conditions of employment, including welfare benefits and pension

Up to Date

The employment package keeps pace with current employment legislation, leading to certainty in employers' employment practices

Industrial Relations Harmony

Use of the Agreement helps promote long-term labour price and industrial relations stability, avoiding the need for company negotiations

Common Standards

The Agreement defines standards in relation to pricing the labour content of jobs comprising, principally, nationally negotiated terms & conditions of employment and hourly pay rates for building engineering services craft personnel engaged on mechanical services work on construction sites. The rates of pay and terms and conditions of employment it sets out are widely recognised for tendering purposes by both clients and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

securing skills

It provides a basis for identifying, demonstrating and securing the skills of those employed in the industry

HMRC agreement

It incorporates the ability for employers to pay employees’ travel-to-work and accommodation costs tax-free, by agreement with HMRC, without the administrative complications usually associated with this practice

Enquiries from employers about the application, interpretation or implementation of the Agreement may be made to any member of the BESA Employment Affairs and Skills Department team, email: employmentaffairs@thebesa.com; or telephone any of the Department's Employee Relations Advisers.

Alternatively, individual employees may be advised by their employer to contact the appropriate Unite trade union official, whose details can be found at Appendix J of the Agreement.

Click here to go to Unite’s website for more information

BESA National Agreement Handbook

Environmental Engineering Industry (EEI) Staff Salary Agreement

The Environmental Engineering Industry (EEI) Staff Salary Agreement applies to: technical/managerial; supervisory; administrative and clerical staff; and student engineers.

The parties to this Agreement are BESA and the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) on behalf of the employers, and the Staff Association EESA, on behalf of the staff.

The centrepiece of the Agreement is a straightforward-to-use, free-from-bureaucracy job evaluation scheme.  The scheme is a recognised method of assisting employers put in place a grading and pay structure for their staff employees which is fair, equitable and rational – whether or not they use the EEI Agreement.

The salary structure of the Agreement sits neatly against the grades that emerge from applying the job evaluation scheme.

The salaries set out in the Agreement are objectively and quantifiably linked to the salary levels which independent research shows are paid in the marketplace.

Two salaries are given for each grade:

  1. a grade minimum salary for the evaluated grade for an individual employee’s job description; and
  2. a guide salary for a fully competent employee  which is intended to be an indicator of the salary paid to an employee who is consistently meeting the full requirements of the job.  The Parties to the Agreement recognise that the Agreement confers no prescriptive or contractual entitlement to a salary at this level and actual salaries will be assessed by employers taking account of all relevant factors.

Pay progression between the grade minimum salary and the guide salary for a fully competent employee is performance-based using a formal personnel appraisal method developed and implemented in accordance with the guidance in the Joint Guidance Note contained in the Staff Salary Handbook of Agreements.        

The Staff Salary Agreement is available for members to download. Enquiries from employers about the application, interpretation or implementation of the Agreement may be made to any member of the BESA Employment Affairs and Skills team.

Enquiries from employers about the application, interpretation or implementation of the Agreement may be made to any member of the BESA Employment Affairs and Skills Department team, email: employmentaffairs@thebesa.com; or telephone any of the Department's Employee Relations and Skills Advisers.

Alternatively, individual employees may be advised by their employer to contact the appropriate EESA official.

Environmental Engineering Industry: Handbook of Agreements
Environmental Engineering Industry: Job Evaluation / Grading Scheme

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